The Roasterie, a prominent Kansas City coffee roaster with five local cafés, spent two years trying to create a Cold Brew product line to keep up with changing industry trends.
They had a Cold Brew on the market; but, had inconsistent outcomes when infusing nitrogen, and felt generally unhappy with the overall flavor profile.
Establish Retail Product Line & Launch
Create & Implement Go To Market Strategy
Visionary for Overall Branding & Art Direction
Engage in Press Outreach & Coverage
Build Strategic Relationships Internally & Externally
Before Crinkerland Arrived
Under the brand of “Never Summer,” the cold brew product offering included Cold Brew coffee beans, grounds, and toddy (a coffee concentrate, intended to be diluted). Feedback from customers showed dissatisfaction with quality, as well as overall confusion and lack of understanding of the product.
We were challenged with establishing new Cold Brew items to offer, spearheading the team to produce a quality and unique flavor, as well as developing and implementing all branding materials and strategies with the goal of creating buzz, excitement and a great user experience in the cafés and in the surrounding community.
Researching the Cold Brew Market
First, we researched market trends. We started with evaluating what is being offered nationally and experiencing what is being offered locally to understand what is taking place in the market. We explored the variety of ways that national chains, such as Starbucks and Stumptown, were offering their Cold Brew products. It was early December, so we especially noted the style of communication around cold coffee being sold in winter months. Additionally, we visited local coffee shops to familiarize ourselves with what was being offered in the KC market compared to the national trends.
Developing the Drink
Working alongside the Master Roaster and the Cafe Director, we began the process of producing a product that consumers would enjoy drinking. Over the course of
2 weeks, tried 200+ blends of coffee - fine tuning and tweaking each one. We narrowed it to our top five choices, then brewed each of those five with multiple brew methods, altering the water temperatures and brewing times. We produced samples for company employees to taste, and collected their feedback. By the end, we’d created a deep, complex flavor profile unlike anything we had tasted locally.
Next, we began to create a product line that would showcase a variety of ways to enjoy Cold Brew coffee. Utilizing the new cold brew blend, we created the following products:
Toddy (concentrate), Iced Coffee (Single Serve & Growler options), Nitro Coffee and Coffee Soda. Coffee Soda was a growing trend nationally and not on The Roasterie’s radar before this project!
Get Staff On Board
The next task was to educate & train cafe staff on the new product line and recipes. After-hours training sessions, socials and tastings were scheduled for all employees. We built up excitement around the flavor profiles, offered an opportunity to provide feedback and included all staff in naming the new products.
Brand the Brew
Once we'd refreshed the product, we were tasked with refreshing the branding elements to create a clean, easy to understand label and artwork. It was apparent that “Never Summer” did not resonate with the consumer. We wanted to create a brand that felt elevated,
rebellious and distinct.
One of The Roasterie’s mantras is to
"Create an extraordinary coffee experience."
We felt that the best way to achieve this was to source specialty glasses to be used exclusively for the cold brew product line, so we did just that.
Then, it was time to spread the word! We were set to advertise the product in all Roasterie Cafés, and with local media outlets. Proper consumer education was a high-priority for this project. With so many coffee options from The Roasterie available, it was important to inform customers and compel them to try something new!
We received glowing customer feedback, with customers taking to social media to share their Cold Brew coffee experience!
After the success of the Cold Brew product launch, the Roasterie tasked us with a new project.
The Roasterie is heavily involved in the community and charitable causes, donating coffee to hundreds of different events a year. Although the team managed the requests coming in, there was no strategy for brand awareness, no process for product fulfillment, and there were frequent challenges in finding staff with availability for on-site service needs.
We were responsible for fixing these issues and getting the team members on board to execute.
Ideate New Retail Offering for Market Needs
Create Internal Process for Effective Execution
Launch Ambassador Program
Select, Hire & Train Ambassadors
Establish a Standard Process
We first created a process that pinpoints responsibilities and accountability for each staff member fulfilling requests. See the details of that process here:
Next, we created an “Event Kit” signage and products to maximize exposure for The Roasterie coffee blend that was being donated to various events. We also launched a catering to-go coffee container (serves 60 people) and discounts for events that did not qualify for donation.
Strength in Numbers: Building a Team
The next issue was securing consistent staffing for events, which we remedied by starting
the Bean Team Brand Ambassador Program to fulfill staffing needs. This was our process:
• Develop job description for freelance, on-site event staff
• Received 150+ applications; selected 15 to be the first team
• Created Bean Team Handbook outlining expectations, responsibilities and products
• Held event for training and education on donated coffee lines inclusive of:
Cold Brew product line, KC Blend and Sporting KC Blend
• Sourced and designed Bean Team T-shirt uniform
We love working with companies of all sizes, and it was fun for us to tackle all of these projects for a coffee company as prevalent as The Roasterie. We are grateful to have worked to fulfill a wide variety of their business needs, from product launch to marketing strategy, operations, events, and more. Questions about our work on this, or the next project for your business? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.